#LetTheGirlsPlay: Lacy Cavalier Learning How to Boss
Put yourself in Lacy Cavalier's shoes. You're 19 and talented, and on tour with Chase Rice. Your band is older, more experienced and full of men. They're respectful, equally talented and hard-working, but how many teenagers can push that group forward as needed?
Cavalier admits she's still learning how to be a firm but kind boss, but she's grateful for Rice and Ryan Hurd's advice on the matter. The singer just wrapped with the two on the Everybody We Know Does Tour, and says the headliner was beyond gracious with his time and consult.
“He has a band that loves him and respects him and are awesome and have been with him through thick and thin,” Cavalier says, speaking of Rice.
The minute he started playing the chord progression I just started crying ... It’s this release of what you’re feeling. It’s sitting down with your friend going, ‘I cannot believe what he did last night.'
“It’s hard for me to step into that role of being like ‘No, we are leaving at 8AM and you will be on time.’ Because I wanna be their friends.”
Scoring a date on Rice's tour was a big win for Cavalier. Being personally invited to open the whole tour was more than she would have gambled on a year ago, but not more than she imagined. The Louisiana native dreams big and has very high expectations. And she's willing to do the work. During every show, she'd stand just off stage taking notes on her iPhone. Details like his move to the front of the stage to share a moment with a fan were jotted down. Bigger concepts like how a bad day never leads to a bad show were important.
"I’m very emotional, so I don’t ever want a bad day to affect a show that I have to play, and he was very good at doing that,” she says.
2016 brought more than a few bad days for Cavalier. It was a great year professionally but personally, she ended a two-year relationship with a guy from Georgia. Songs like "Man You Could Be" and "Flat Bill" are about the highs and lows with this guy, but there's more and perhaps more coming.
"Put You Down" is one she plays that still stings. Cavalier wrote the song with Autumn McEntire and Chris Roberts at the end of a long day of writing. The moment Roberts started strumming guitar chords, tears started pouring out of her. Thirty minutes later she'd penned a song she still gets choked up singing live.
“He cheated on me,” she admits with no hesitation. “We dated for two years and it was very much that up and down relationship. Everything was an extreme. It was very intense. You’re hurting in it and you’re hurting out of it.”
This guy ... he's aware of the songs written about him. In fact, he was in the crowd, sitting next to — and getting a ribbing from — Cavalier's father during a recent Song Suffragettes show. Yeah, they're back together four months after separating. This is what January's #LetTheGirlsPlay artist is referring to when she says her next album will sound like if Aaron Neville had a daughter.
Previous albums have leaned more pop — think Shania Twain with a thick Shreveport, La., accent. Writing is her focus early in 2017 and one can't help but imagine if she'll be more in control early, a la Shania and Chase. The two tall country men she toured with left quite an impression on her.
“We were having this conversation," she says, recalling a night off in New York City, "and they both were like, ‘Lacy, you can’t let them treat you like a 19-year-old little girl. You have to be this boss woman and stand up for yourself.’”
To be fair, it's not like she's pushed around. It's more about not feeling guilty about making unpopular decisions. If she feels it's best to wake up at 6AM when you need to be at a show at 5PM, that's what they'll do.
“If I wanna go to New York on our off day and go shopping, we’re going to New York to go shopping," she says, smiling.
Like love, being the boss is a process that comes with highs and lows.
Watch Lacy Cavalier's "Put You Down" Video